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Mol Plant. 2009 Sep;2(5):840-50. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssp056. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Plant cell wall matrix polysaccharide biosynthesis.

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  • 1Crop Genetics Research and Development, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., A DuPont Company, 7300 NW 62nd Avenue, Johnston, IA 50131, USA.


The wall of an expanding plant cell consists primarily of cellulose microfibrils embedded in a matrix of hemicellulosic and pectic polysaccharides along with small amounts of structural and enzymatic proteins. Matrix polysaccharides are synthesized in the Golgi and exported to the cell wall by exocytosis, where they intercalate among cellulose microfibrils, which are made at the plasma membrane and directly deposited into the cell wall. Involvement of Golgi glucan synthesis in auxin-induced cell expansion has long been recognized; however, only recently have the genes corresponding to glucan synthases been identified. Biochemical purification was unsuccessful because of the labile nature and very low abundance of these enzymes. Mutational genetics also proved fruitless. Expression of candidate genes identified through gene expression profiling or comparative genomics in heterologous systems followed by functional characterization has been relatively successful. Several genes from the cellulose synthase-like (Csl) family have been found to be involved in the synthesis of various hemicellulosic glycans. The usefulness of this approach, however, is limited to those enzymes that probably do not form complexes consisting of unrelated proteins. Nonconventional approaches will continue to incrementally unravel the mechanisms of Golgi polysaccharide biosynthesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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